Despite another injury blow, the Blackcaps still believe fast bowler Lockie Ferguson can turn out in test cricket.

Since his debut in 2016, Ferguson has consistently been among the world's fastest bowlers, able to clock speeds well in excess of 150km/h with ball in hand. 

But like all fast bowlers, that extra pace comes at a huge cost. 

Now 31, Ferguson has recently battled injuries with his back and abdomen, before being ruled out of Saturday's opening ODI against Sri Lanka with a hamstring strain.

That injury came after Ferguson made his first-class return for Auckland, picking up four wickets and bowling 29 overs in what was his first four-day match in three seasons.

The unavailability of Trent Boult, injury to Kyle Jamieson and growing concerns over the aging Neil Wagner leaves room in the Blackcaps' pace department for fast bowlers to break into, with Blair Tickner, Scott Kuggeleijn and Doug Bracewell all playing tests over the now concluded summer.

Whether Ferguson can take one of those places, though, remains to be seen.

For Blackcaps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen, Ferguson's addition to the test ranks would be a valuable option to call on.

However, fitness would be the main concern over his place in any New Zealand XI.

So far, Ferguson has played only one test match, debuting in the Blackcaps' 296-run defeat to Australia in Perth in 2019.

On that occasion, Ferguson went wicketless, and got through only 11 overs in the first innings before he was forced out with a calf strain. 

But with New Zealand not playing another test until next summer, Jurgensen believes there is enough time to properly condition Ferguson for the rigours of five-day cricket.

"No doubt, he'd be in consideration," said Jurgensen. "He [has] the x-factor of extra pace.

"I think that's the bonus of what we have now, we do have a lot of time to prepare, and plan for that in the future.

"With the World Cup later this year, and tests not until after that, that's a long time.

"With that sort of planning, we can look forward to the future and get him in the best position possible for selection." 

Before the Blackcaps' next test, Ferguson will aim to be fit for the upcoming Indian Premier League season with Kolkata Knight Riders, as well as international tours of the UAE and England later this year, before the Cricket World Cup in India. 

2023-03-23T18:49:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd